Benefits of telehealth for patients & providers

Posted by: Alok Prasad

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Advantages of Telehealth

Telehealth, or telemedicine, has become increasingly important in recent years due to advances in technology, increasing demand for healthcare services, cost-effectiveness, convenience, and the COVID-19 pandemic. The availability of high-speed internet and mobile devices has made telehealth more accessible and reliable, while the aging population and prevalence of chronic diseases have increased demand for healthcare. Telehealth can be cost-effective and convenient for patients, allowing them to access healthcare services from their homes.

Telehealth benefits extend to both providers and patients. The benefits include increased access to care, convenience and flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and the ability to minimize the risk of infection. Patients can also receive healthcare services from their homes or other locations, reducing the need for travel and increasing access to specialists.

Provider Benefits

1. Increased accessibility

Patients who face physical, geographical, and other barriers can receive healthcare services. Providers can offer care to patients regardless of their location, making healthcare more accessible to people who would otherwise face difficulties in accessing it. For instance, patients in rural areas or those who live far from healthcare centers can now receive care from providers via telehealth. This not only helps healthcare providers increase their reach, but also improves patient satisfaction and healthcare outcomes.

2. Expanded Access to Care For More Patients

The ability to reach beyond the traditional brick and mortar office gives providers the opportunity to expand access to care for both current and future patients.  With an increased ability to provide both synchronous and asynchronous services, remotely monitor patient health, and to engage patients through mobile health outreach efforts, practitioners are continually finding more ways to expand patient care outside the normal or traditional delivery models.

3. Reduced Costly Patient No-Shows

Patient no shows are a major interrupter in the revenue stream of any practice.  The convenience of receiving medical care services remotely, and most often from home, has been consistently shown to reduce patient no-shows by up to 50%.  Considering that the average healthcare provider averages between a 5% to 7% no show rate, and just one no show per day can cost a practice anywhere between $30,000 and $100,000 in lost revenue each year (before factoring in costs associated with rescheduling, billing, and follow up), telemedicine offers a viable path to increased revenue.

4. Reduced costs

The need for a physical office is eliminated, which significantly reduces overhead costs for providers. Without the need for a dedicated physical space, providers can save money on rent, utilities, and maintenance costs. Additionally, providers can save on staffing costs, as they may not need as many support staff members to handle tasks like scheduling and record-keeping. Overall, it helps providers improve their profitability while lowering healthcare costs for patients.

5. Improved efficiency

Providers can see more patients in a shorter amount of time. It eliminates the need for travel and other logistical tasks, such as setting up exam rooms, which can consume a lot of time. Providers can use this extra time to focus on patient care, education, and other professional development opportunities. Additionally, it can reduce wait times, increase patient volume, and ultimately improve a provider's bottom line.

6. Enhanced patient engagement

Telehealth platforms can improve patient engagement by making it easier for patients to access their health information and participate in their own care. Patients can view their medical records, schedule appointments, and communicate with their providers more easily. It empowers patients to be more involved in their own care, which can lead to better health outcomes and greater satisfaction with their healthcare providers.

7. Increased revenue

With Telehealth, providers can expand their patient base and offer services beyond their physical location. Providers in rural or under-served areas can use telehealth to tap into a wider market and grow their revenue streams. It also enables providers to offer specialized services to patients who live far away, without requiring the patient to travel long distances to receive care.

8. Improved quality of care

With an enabling technology like telehealth, providers are able to monitor patients more closely and intervene earlier when health issues arise. Providers can use real-time remote monitoring and support to identify potential health problems before they become more serious and provide timely interventions. It can lead to better health outcomes for patients and increased satisfaction for providers.

9. Greater flexibility

Providers experience greater flexibility and work-life balance. They can work from anywhere with an internet connection, which can be especially beneficial for those with care giving responsibilities or other personal commitments. It eliminates the need for providers to commute to a physical office, which can save time and reduce stress.

10. Improved patient outcomes

By reducing barriers to care and improving access to healthcare, it can lead to improved patient outcomes. Patients who can access care more easily are more likely to receive the care they need in a timely manner, which can reduce the risk of hospitalizations or other health complications. Improved patient outcomes lead to increased patient satisfaction and can also improve a provider's reputation in the community.

11. Increased patient satisfaction

Providers are able to offer greater convenience, reduced wait times, and increased accessibility to care with a telehealth platform. Patients who can access care more easily are more likely to be satisfied with their healthcare experience. It can also help providers improve patient satisfaction by offering services that are more personalized and tailored to the patient's needs.

12. Greater Opportunity For Collaboration and Overall Job Satisfaction Among Providers

Resultant increase in collaboration between, and productivity of, medical staff, improves the quality of care patients receive. A recent survey demonstrated that nearly 80% of health providers believe that telemedicine improves patient care and provider job performance.

Healthcare providers have a challenging, stressful, and often frustrating job. Most providers find that the ability to meet remotely with patients, offer flexible hours, and work from a variety of locations makes it much easier to attain a reasonable work-life balance, reduces stress, and improves overall job satisfaction.


Patient Benefits

1. Increased Patient Access to Health Care

Patients’ access to healthcare is vastly improved by eliminating the distance and travel time between patients and care providers; this is especially true for specialized healthcare providers. Typically a problem found in under-served rural areas, telemedicine services now provide patients with access to a wide array of specialized healthcare services that are not limited by physical distance.

2. Saving Patients Time and Money

Patients spend a significant amount of time and money seeking quality healthcare services.  In fact, according to the American Journal of Managed Care , on average, it takes over 2 hours and costs a patient roughly $43 in opportunity costs ( in addition to actual medical costs) for each medical appointment he/she attends.  The ability to participate in a telemedicine appointment over a smartphone or computer not only saves a tremendous amount of time, but also reduces the stress associated with taking time off from work and eliminates the associated costs of gas, travel, parking, childcare, and other incidentals.

3. Improving Short and Long-Term Quality of Care

Recent findings demonstrate that patients using telemedicine experienced nearly 40% fewer hospitalizations, 30% fewer hospital re-admissions, and were nearly 65% more likely to spend fewer days in the hospital.

The elimination of geographic and financial barriers provides telemedicine patients with improved access to preventative care that improves long-term health outcomes.

4. Increased Access to Specialists and On-Demand Options

Telemedicine eliminates potential barriers and makes it possible for both patients and primary care physicians to leverage online or on-demand availability of specialized practitioners to better access the expertise of specialists who are not physically nearby. Telemedicine provides the opportunity for patients to address serious health issues by consulting with the best specialists and health practitioners - not just those that are the closest.

5. Reduced Risk of Catching or Spreading a New Illness

Healthcare professionals take every precaution to prevent illness from spreading within their respective offices.  However, despite the best of efforts, patients are often exposed to a variety of illnesses just by sitting in crowded waiting rooms; this creates an especially dangerous situation for patients with weakened immune systems or other underlying health conditions. 

Telemedicine eliminates the risk of exposure by allowing patients to access quality health care services without being exposed, or exposing others, to additional illness.

6. Increased health literacy

Telehealth can help patients become more informed about their health and better understand the healthcare services available to them. Patients who use telehealth platforms can access educational resources, information about their health conditions, and other tools that can help them become more knowledgeable about their health.

7. Increased patient satisfaction

Patients experience greater convenience, reduced wait times, and increased accessibility to care. Patients who can access care more easily are more likely to be satisfied with their healthcare experience. Telehealth can also help providers improve patient satisfaction by offering services that are more personalized and tailored to the patient's needs.

8. Improved patient outcomes

Telehealth can lead to better patient outcomes by reducing the risk of hospitalizations or other health complications. Patients who can access care more easily are more likely to receive the care they need in a timely manner, which can reduce the risk of adverse health events.

Many healthcare providers have recently invested in telehealth technology and infrastructure, and patients have also become more comfortable using telehealth services. As a result, it is expected that telehealth will continue to play a significant role in healthcare delivery even after the pandemic subsides. Telehealth is likely to complement traditional in-person care, providing patients with greater flexibility and options for accessing healthcare services.

Regardless of whether you are a patient or a healthcare provider, it’s time for you to consider the benefits telemedicine can provide to you or to your practice.

Call us today to learn more about the telemedicine services RevenueXL can provide to you.


Topics: Health IT, Telemedicine, Provider/Physician, Consultant

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